--Original published at alanaspsy105blog
For my Spotlight #3 Post, I’m choosing to write about the effectiveness of psychotherapy versus the use of medications to treat major depressive disorder. I found a lot of different articles that gave good arguments for both sides. One article written on WebMD titled “Talk Therapy vs Meds for Major Depression,” mentioned that many studies showed that patients were equally helped by both forms of treatment, however, people mentioned that patients are a lot less likely to go for psychotherapy unless it was suggested by their doctor. So while it was shown that people were equally helped by both forms of treatment, more people choose to take medication because that is the form that is suggested by their doctor more often. Another article I read came from the Mayo Clinic. It also said that both forms of treatment are effective, and also listed some cons of taking medications. It said that taking anti-depressants can cause physical dependence to the medication so if the patient stops taking their medication for any reason, they can experience withdrawal-like symptoms and their depression could worsen. Another potential risk to young adults is increased suicidal thoughts while taking anti-depressant medications; it is usually a result of a changed dosage. While medications can help with physiological problems like serotonin imbalances, psychotherapy can helps with a patient’s behavior. It can turn a behavior that is negatively affecting the person’s depression and redirect them into a positive behavior. Another article that I read titled, “Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In,” was definitely advocating more for the use of psychotherapy than for antidepressants. They gave support for their argument by citing all the potentially harmful side effects, including how it is possible for people to overdose on their medication if taken with alcohol. The next article that I read gave some pros and cons of medication versus psychotherapy. The article gave a few reasons that people normally choose antidepressants over psychotherapy. One reason was that people usually see faster results from taking medication over going to therapy; it can take six to eight weeks longer for someone to start to see positive results. Also, psychotherapy alone is not usually enough to treat someone that has severe depression so medications are usually required. As far as credibility, I think the articles from WebMD and the Mayo Clinic are credible sources. They cite information taken from academic journals to back up their claims. As far as the last two articles go, I do not think they are as credible as the first two. It does not mean that the information that they are giving necessarily is wrong, the pages just have not been reviewed by medical professionals. I personally believe that people should try psychotherapy before they decide to take antidepressants because they could potentially be helped without adding chemicals to their body. I am not a fan of taking medications, or even getting vaccines because sometimes I think doctors go overboard with prescribing medications, especially when there is potentially another treatment that could be effective in helping their patient. I do not think it is always healthy to add all the extra chemicals to your body unless it is necessary.